PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 20, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Independence Blue Cross (IBC) is launching a new online Find a Doctor tool to give its members even more capabilities to find doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals who meet their personal health care needs.
The new, expanded Find a Doctor tool — IBC's most frequently used online resource — now has a more robust search capability and an updated look, and now offers members the opportunity to write reviews of their doctors and read others' reviews. In early 2013, Find a Doctor will also provide cost estimates by geographic areas for more than 100 common medical procedures. The features of the new Find a Doctor tool give IBC members a smart, easy way to select a doctor, hospital, or health care professional for themselves or family members.
"We want to bring the retail shopping experience to health care by giving our members more robust quality and cost information, which is key to their taking good care of themselves," said Daniel J. Hilferty, IBC's president and CEO. "To continue to transform health care in our region, we are excited to launch a new and expanded version of Find a Doctor, one of our most popular online tools."
Hilferty adds, "Our Find a Doctor tool is the kind of innovation that empowers our members to take more active, informed roles in making smart health care decisions for themselves and their families."
Available on ibx.com, this easy to use, one-stop Find a Doctor tool now searches more efficiently for doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals in IBC's network, and provides a deeper look into the background of each doctor. For example, individuals can view information about physicians and compare doctors based on qualifications, accreditations, gender, language, board certifications, and other criteria. The doctor profiles also include details about their practices, such as location, office hours, health plans accepted, and hospital affiliations.
Another new feature of Find a Doctor is access to reviews written by members about their experiences with doctors and ratings of different aspects of the physicians' practices.
Members who use the Find a Doctor tool through IBC's secure member website, ibxpress.com, can share their own experiences with physicians by writing reviews. In addition, members will be able to rate their network doctors in the following areas:
- Experience. Overall care provided by the doctor.
- Communication. Willingness of doctor to listen to their concerns.
- Availability. Ease and timeliness of obtaining an appointment.
- Environment. Friendliness of office staff.
More patients are considering cost and location when making decisions on health care services. Yet, a Journal of American Medicine article indicates that the lack of price transparency and competitive pricing costs Americans between $84 and $178 billion in unnecessary spending. With the addition of IBC's cost estimator capabilities to the Find a Doctor tool in early 2013, members who log onto ibxpress.com can view cost estimates by geographic area for more than 100 commonly performed inpatient, outpatient, diagnostic, and pre-admission testing procedures from joint replacement surgery to appendix, tonsil or gallbladder removal, to an MRI or colonoscopy screening.
"Our goal is to help people become better consumers of health care services and the Find a Doctor tool is a great resource that demonstrates how their choices can impact their wellness and their wallets," says Brian Lobley, IBC senior vice president, marketing and consumer business. "We will continue adding new capabilities to our interactive Find a Doctor tool that will encourage members to become more engaged in decision making involving their health."
About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we have 3.1 million members nationwide. For nearly 75 years, we have been enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more about how we're changing the game, visit www.ibx.com. Connect with us on Facebook at ibx.com/facebook and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
CONTACT: Karen Godlewski 215-241-3113 Karen.Godlewski@ibx.comSource:Independence Blue Cross